3. John Kelly
The Watkins emergence doesn't only affect our wide receiver room. It already seemed like Cleveland would probably only carry three running backs, and now it's almost certain. And that makes it increasingly likely that Kelly is the odd man out.
First of all, Demetric Felton is totally upstaging him in the preseason. Kelly only managed 20 yards on 8 carries on Thursday, and he also lost a fumble. Felton had 36 yards on 7 carries. We've seen that efficiency gap in all three preseason games too. In the Hall of Fame Game, Felton had 46 yards on 7 carries while Kelly had 42 yards on 10 carries. Against the Commanders, Felton had 31 yards on 8 carries while Kelly had 6 yards on 6 carries. It hasn't been close.
Keeping Felton over Kelly also makes it easier to keep Watkins in the wide receiver room. His ability to return kicks and punts means it would be easier to cut Jakeem Grant and/or Jaelon Darden as part of the players that need to go to make space on the roster for Watkins.
Kelly seems like the definition of a replacement-level plodder, and if we ever need that kind of depth it's not hard to find in free agency. No point in clogging up a roster spot to keep him around.
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